When I was young, I wanted to make clothes for my dolls, but I had neither the skill nor the attention span to sew outfits. Now that I have girls of my own, I watch one of my daughters trying to drape pieces of fabric over and around her dolls, then get frustrated when they don't stay in the position she wants. Other times, Lilith will take pieces of play doh or polymer clay and shape them over her plastic dolls to make clothes. The clay will stick to the doll and stay in position, but it's not very cloth-like.
Why have I never seen sculptable fabric for little kids to make simple doll fashions? I have no idea... but it's something I'd like to remedy here and now.
I've used the soft wax coated string by Wikki Stix and a couple other companies, and I've made some of my own for my kids. I figured adding soft wax to fabric would work, but sometimes the strings weren't sticky enough to hold together. I needed something more like wax based modeling clay, so I did some research and found this recipe for modeling beeswax: http://lifelessonplans.org/diy-beeswax-modeling-cl...
Lanolin! That's what I needed to add. It's sticky and is easy to incorporate into oil and wax (I've mixed these three ingredients in different amounts to make balm for dry hands). The recipe for modeling wax isn't sticky enough for moldable fabric, so I made some adjustments. Also... beeswax comes in different shapes, so I've come up with a recipe based on weight, rather than volume.
Fabric - quilting cotton works well for this. You can also use some ribbon and colored yarn for embellishments
Beeswax - save yourself some headache right now and know that paraffin WILL NOT WORK for this.
Double boiler, or a small pot and a heat safe container in which to melt wax over boiling water
Nonstick foil, parchment paper, or a silicone pan
Metal sheet pan
Oven or heat gun
Tongs that will lift your heat safe container from the boiling water
I tried several types of fabric and have included my notes on each at the end of this instructable. It's difficult to estimate the amount of wax you'll need in proportion to the fabric, since even different brands of quilting cotton will differ in thickness, density, and the amount of wax they'll absorb.
Before you dismiss this as a silly girly activity... both genders enjoy playing with all sorts of toys, including clothes. Understanding how clothing fits together is a great life skill. Being able to see how a 2-D shape wraps around a 3-D object is also incredibly educational, and helps with spatial awareness. Understanding certain ways of manipulating substances and materials is also wonderful for kids and adults.
So, now that you've got some reasons to consider trying this... let's get started!